For a man who is poised on the brink of further greatness, Lewis Hamilton was predictably matter-of-fact here this morning as the high winds outside at his beloved Circuit of the Americas presaged the rain that is due tomorrow and Saturday.

On the track where he has dominated so often, he could join Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as a five-time world champion. In British motorsport, only the late and maliciously unknighted John Surtees, on motorcycles, has won more with seven before adding an eighth in cars. But while the world wants to know how he would feel about a fifth title, he and Mercedes are refusing even to think about that likelihood.